DLA and Squire Sanders Leeds team lead on financing by GE and Ares

DLA Piper and a UK team from Squire Sanders landed roles on a deal by GE Capital and Ares Capital Europe to provide unitranche debt facilities to Callcredit Information Group.

Alexander Griffith
Alexander Griffith

This is the first deal from GE and Ares’ joint venture for unitranche funding in Europe, to which the companies have committed €1.75bn.

In this instance, the joint venture has agreed to provide debt facilities to Callcredit understood to amount to less than £100m.

Callcredit, which provides information on consumers’ credit history, intends to use the funds to pursue its growth strategy.

DLA Piper advised the joint-venture lenders, led by London finance partner Alexander Griffith.

Squire Sanders advised Callcredit through a team led by Leeds banking partner Richard Morton.

Background to this deal:

DLA Piper won the mandate through its history advising GE, which has instructed the firm for at least five years across a number of different locations and sectors. Griffith and fellow London partner Philip Butler are the relationship partners for GE on the leveraged finance side. They become acquainted with most of GE’s leveraged finance team from when it was at Barclays, leaving the bank when it scaled back in the sector.

GE and Ares instructed Allen & Overy (A&O) and Latham & Watkins to help them establish their joint venture, but now alternate between using DLA Piper and Hogan Lovells on deals. Paul Mullen is the Hogan Lovells partner that works with the two lenders.

Callcredit is a regular client of Squire Sanders, with corporate finance partner Jonathan Jones in charge of the relationship.

GE is in the process of reviewing its external legal panel, which also covers work carried out for GE Capital, the financial services arm (29 October 2012). Allen & Overy (A&O), Ashurst, Slaughter and May and Weil Gotshal & Manges are among the panel members.

Ares is one of the alternative credit providers being targeted by law firms such as Linklaters as banking practices seek to find new way of earning fees from finance deals (3 August 2012).